MOD005581 Action Research Thesis

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MOD005581 SID Number:
Entrepreneurial Action
MOD005581
Action Research Thesis
Implementing lean manufacturing as a means of improving the operational efficiency of a food
manufacturing business.
Student ID:
Anglia Ruskin University
MBA
Word count: 10 641
Date: 20 May 2020
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF APPENDICES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
GLOSSARY…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
LIST OF TABLES……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
1.1 Background ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
1.2 Need for change………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..10
1.2.1 Internal driving forces ………………………………………………………………………………………………….10
1.2.2 External driving forces …………………………………………………………………………………………………11
1.2.3 Power of the forces……………………………………………………………………………………………………..11
1.3 The currency of the research ………………………………………………………………………………………………11
1.4 The theoretical context………………………………………………………………………………………………………11
1.5 Value of the research…………………………………………………………………………………………………………12
1.6 [ANON]’s stakeholders……………………………………………………………………………………………………….12
1.7 Research Aim ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………16
1.8 Research Questions …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..16
1.9 Research Objectives…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..16
1.10 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..17
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW …………………………………………………………………………………………………17
2.1 Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………17
2.2 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..17
2.3 Brief history of lean……………………………………………………………………………………………………………18
2.4 Literature search methodology …………………………………………………………………………………………..18
2.5 Principles of LM…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………21
2.5.1 Defining value …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….22
2.5.2 Value stream mapping …………………………………………………………………………………………………22
2.5.3 Creating flow………………………………………………………………………………………………………………22
2.5.4 Using a pull system ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..22
2.5.5 Pursuing perfection……………………………………………………………………………………………………..23
2.6 Wastes, tools and techniques of LM…………………………………………………………………………………….23
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2.7 Wastes and tools designed to eliminate the waste………………………………………………………………..25
2.7.1a Waste: Transport ………………………………………………………………………………………………………25
2.7.1b Tool: Value stream mapping (VSM) ……………………………………………………………………………..25
2.7.2a Waste: Inventory……………………………………………………………………………………………………….26
2.7.2b Tool: Just in time (JIT) ………………………………………………………………………………………………..26
2.7.3a Waste: Motion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….27
2.7.3b Tool: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain (5S)…………………………………………..27
2.7.4a Waste: Defects ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….28
2.7.4b Tool: Poka Yoke…………………………………………………………………………………………………………28
2.7.5a Waste: Waiting………………………………………………………………………………………………………….29
2.7.5b Tool: Takt time ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….29
2.7.5c Tool: Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) …………………………………………………………………..30
2.7.5d Tool: Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)……………………………………………………………….31
2.7.6a Waste: Overproduction………………………………………………………………………………………………31
2.7.6b Tool: Just in time (JIT) ………………………………………………………………………………………………..32
2.7.6c Tool: Kanban……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..32
2.7.7a Waste: Over-processing ……………………………………………………………………………………………..32
2.7.7b Tool: Value stream mapping (VSM) ……………………………………………………………………………..33
2.7.8a Waste: Non-utilized talent………………………………………………………………………………………….33
2.7.8b Tool: Kaizen (CI) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..33
2.8 Critical success factors (CSF) of LM………………………………………………………………………………………34
2.9 Benefits of implementing LM………………………………………………………………………………………………35
2.10 Barriers of LM implementation………………………………………………………………………………………….35
2.11 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..37
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY…………………………………………………………………….38
3.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..38
3.2 Research Design………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..39
3.3 Philosophy: Interpretivism………………………………………………………………………………………………….39
3.4 Approach: Inductive…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..40
3.5 Methodological choice: Mono method qualitative ………………………………………………………………..41
3.6 Strategy: Action research (AR)…………………………………………………………………………………………….42
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3.7 Process of AR…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….44
3.7.1a Pre-step: Context and purpose ……………………………………………………………………………………44
3.7.1b Constructing……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..44
3.7.1c Planning……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………45
3.7.1d Action………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………45
3.7.1e Evaluating…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………45
3.7.1f Meta learning…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….46
3.8 Time horizon: Longitudinal study (LS)…………………………………………………………………………………..47
3.9 Techniques and procedures………………………………………………………………………………………………..47
3.9.1a Phase one:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..47
3.9.1b Methodology…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….47
3.9.1c Sampling …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..47
3.9.1d Data analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….48
3.9.2a Phase two…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………48
3.9.2b Methodology…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….48
3.9.2c Sampling …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..48
3.9.2d Data analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….48
3.10 Limitations of the research ……………………………………………………………………………………………….49
3.11 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..49
CHAPTER 4: DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS………………………………………………………………………………50
4.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..50
4.2 Stakeholders …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….50
4.2.1 Understanding the stakeholders……………………………………………………………………………………52
4.2.2 Stakeholder needs and expectations……………………………………………………………………………..53
4.3 Change management…………………………………………………………………………………………………………54
4.4 Process of AR…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….55
4.4.1 Context and purpose……………………………………………………………………………………………………56
4.4.2 Constructing: [ANON] stakeholder engagement ……………………………………………………………..56
4.4.3 Planning……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..58
4.4.3a Describing the need for change and degree of choice ……………………………………………………58
4.4.3b Desired Future State ………………………………………………………………………………………………….59
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4.4.3c Assessing the present in the light of the desired future ………………………………………………….59
4.4.3d Managing the transition …………………………………………………………………………………………….59
4.4.4 Action ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..60
4.4.5 Evaluating…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..60
4.4.5a Does adopting LM result in the elimination of waste? ……………………………………………………60
4.4.5b Does adopting LM result in improved manufacturing efficiency and increased productivity?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………61
4.4.5c Does adopting LM lower costs? …………………………………………………………………………………..64
4.4.5d Does adopting LM improve profitability?……………………………………………………………………..65
4.5 Meta learning……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………67
4.5.1 Content ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..67
4.5.2 Process ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………67
4.5.3 Premise ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..67
4.6 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….67
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………68
5.1 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..68
5.2 Recommendations …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….69
CHAPTER 6: REFLECTION ON LEARNING………………………………………………………………………………………..71
6.1 Experience of undertaking a major project …………………………………………………………………………..71
6.2 Limitations of the research …………………………………………………………………………………………………71
6.3 What went well…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………72
6.4 What didn’t go so well ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….72
6.5 What you might do differently next time ……………………………………………………………………………..72
6.6 What learning is transferable to the workplace …………………………………………………………………….73
6.7 Development of own entrepreneurial competencies …………………………………………………………….73
6.8 What’s next? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….76
REFERENCES………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………77
APPENDICES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………87
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Appendix 1: [ANON]’s lean manufacturing implementation plan
Appendix 2: Project plan
Appendix 3: Online ethics training
Appendix 4: Ethical application
Action Research
AR
Continuous improvement
CI
Critical success factors
CSF
Enterprise resource planning
ERP
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
JSE
Just in time
JIT
Lean Manufacturing
LM
Longitudinal study
LS
Non-value adding activity
NVA
Master of Business Administration
MBA
Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain
5S
Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat
SWOT
Total Productive Maintenance
TPM
United Kingdom
UK
United States of America
USA
Value-adding activity
VA
Value stream mapping
VSM
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Figure 1
Power-Interest Grid
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Figure 2
[ANON]’s Power-Interest Grid
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Figure 3
Manufacturing Activities
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Figure 4
5 Key Principles of Lean Manufacturing
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Figure 5
Eight wastes of Lean Manufacturing
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Figure 6
Waste categories
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Figure 7
Value stream mapping
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Figure 8
Just in Time
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Figure 9
5S
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Figure 10
Poka Yoke
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Figure 11
Takt time
29
Figure 12
Total Productive Maintenance
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Figure 13
Kanban
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Figure 14
Kaizen
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Figure 15
Barriers in Lean Manufacturing Implementation
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Figure 16
Research Onion
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Figure 17
Lean Manufacturing project research onion
38
Figure 18
Inductive approach
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Figure 19
The action research cycle
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Figure 20
Cycles of action research
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Figure 21
Meta cycle of action research
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Figure 22
[ANON]’s Power-Interest
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Figure 23
The process of change
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Figure 24
Efficiency of order completion
59
Figure 25
Time taken to complete a product
60
Figure 26
Reduction in unit production cost
62
Figure 27
Quality increase
63
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Table 1
Primary and Secondary stakeholders
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Table 2
[ANON]’s stakeholders
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Table 3
[ANON]’s stakeholder benefits
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Table 4
Literature search terms
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Table 5
Lean manufacturing implementation critical success factors
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Table 6
Types of action research
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Table 7
[ANON]’s stakeholders
48
Table 9
[ANON]’s primary stakeholder expectations
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Table 9
[ANON]’s secondary stakeholder expectations
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Table 10
Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model
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Table 11
Lean practices productivity increase
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Table 12
Efficiency of order completion
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Table 13
Time taken to complete a product
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Table 14
Reduction in unit production cost
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Table 15
Views about quality increase
63
Table 16
SWOT analysis
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Table 17
Development plan
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INTRODUCTION
[ANON] mushrooms ([ANON]) is the biggest mushroom producer in South Africa based in [ANON]
Johannesburg ([ANON], 2020). It is one of the Johannesburg stock exchange (JSE) listed group
[The Parent Company]’s 27 subsidiaries (JSE, 2020). [ANON] has been experiencing profitability
issues that has attracted the attention of the [The Parent Company] executive (Laing, 2018).
[ANON] is one of [The Parent Company]’s biggest brands with its revenues making the group’s
top three however, net profit wise [ANON] is in the bottom five. The main reason for this is
attributed to [ANON]’s high operational costs resulting from operational inefficiencies, for
example, out of a revenue of R493m in 2019, [ANON] only realised a net profit of R10m (2.02%),
which is less than the budgeted 10%, signalling the need for change (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010,
pp.66-67).
[ANON] has in the past explored different marketing and pricing strategies, however, these
strategies proved to be fragile as they did not solve the underlying operational efficiency issues
and once an equilibrium was reached, the profitability issues resurfaced. The researcher suggests
lean manufacturing (LM) to solve the operational inefficiencies since they have identified many
non-value adding activities (NVAs)/waste happening in the business leading to operational
inefficiencies and high operating costs. LM is a system that is designed to eliminate all NVAs
within a manufacturing system while at the same time maximizing productivity and creating value
(Gopalakrishnan,2010, p.4). The researcher is a certified six sigma black belt and a certified lean
manager and through conducting this research they are presented with a huge opportunity to
not only put into practice this existing knowledge, but also get a huge opportunity for their
learning and personal growth (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.59). Resolution of the profitability
issue will also increase their profile within the organisation.
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1.2.1 Internal driving forces
According to Gopalakrishnan (2010, pp.11-28), if a business experiences the following symptoms
then it signals the need to implement LM.
1. High levels of defects.
2. A lot of machinery downtime.
3. High levels of inventory of raw materials and finished goods.
4. Poor yields due to rework and rejections.
5. High levels of rejects requiring rework.
6. Firefighting on the shop floor.
7. Market share lost to competitors.
8. Slow and non-moving stock.
9. High customer complaints and returns.
10. High manufacturing costs and reduction in profit margins.
11. High labour and overhead costs.
12. High levels of overtime.
13. Difficulty in implementing change.
14. Low employee morale.
15. Constantly failing to meet delivery deadlines and required quantities.
16. Poor yields to due rework and rejections.
17. Poor customer satisfaction.
18. A lot of space taken up by production and storage.
19. Low output per man hour efficiency.
After informal consultations with [ANON]’s stakeholders the following symptoms were
identified: number 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,17,19 signalling the immediate need to
implement LM (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, pp.66-67).
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1.2.2 External driving forces
As [ANON] is one of [The Parent Company]’s major brands, its financial performance has a direct
impact on how [The Parent Company] performs on the JSE hence the need to make the business
profitable.
1.2.3 Power of the forces
Both the internal and external forces are very powerful hence the need to urgently solve the
profitable issues. At the current moment there are no other tangible choices and LM seems to be the
most viable and cheaper option.
[ANON] needs to urgently solve its operational inefficiencies and become profitable if they are
to remain viable (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, pp.66-67). As one of [The Parent Company’s]’s
major brands, [ANON]’s financial performance has a direct impact on how [The Parent Company]
performs on the JSE hence the need for immediate change. Moreover, [ANON] is a small town
on the outskirts of Johannesburg and [ANON] is the biggest employer of the community.
Continued poor performance and possible retrenchments will have a massive impact on the
community as most of these employees are the bread winners within their households. With an
unemployment rate of 29.1% in South Africa (Stoddard, 2020), getting retrenched at [ANON]
would be a serious blow to the affected employees and their families as the chances of getting
immediate employment are very limited.
Operational inefficiencies are caused by unmanaged NVAs/waste that occur within a business’
operations (Gopalakrishnan, 2010). To improve operational efficiencies, these wastes must be
eliminated. LM has been identified as the best system to eliminate waste, reduce costs from
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operations, improve operational efficiencies, create value and install a continuous improvement
(CI) philosophy within an organisation (Gopalakrishnan,2010, p.4). Wang (2010, p.2), also add
that with LM, production throughput times can be cut by 90%, labour productivity can be
doubled, the cost of poor quality can be reduced, inventory can be reduced by 90% and errors
and scrap cut by 50%. With eliminating waste, value is created, which is what the customer wants
and will to pay for (Gopalakrishnan, 2010, p.4).
Wastes directly impact operations and costs as they are all non-value adding to the final product
that is sold to the customers (Gopalakrishnan, 2010). By eliminating waste, [ANON] should be
able to improve their operational efficiencies and in turn bring down their operating expenses
and bring about the future they desire (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.67). [ANON]’s stakeholders
are there to benefit from the successful implementation of LM.
Freeman and Reed (1983) defines stakeholders as parties who have interests in the strategy of a
business. Understanding the needs of stakeholders is fundamental to every organisation as they
can affect or be affect by the business’ strategies (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.87). As shown
in Table 1, there are primary and secondary stakeholders.
Primary
Secondary
Shareholders
Competitors
Employees
Worker’s unions
Customers
Media
Suppliers
Pressure groups
Vendors
Government
Business partners
Local community
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Table 1: Primary and Secondary stakeholders
In all businesses, primary stakeholders hold direct interest while secondary stakeholders have
indirect interest, but they can influence the business’s operations (Freeman and Reed, 1983).
Stakeholders influence businesses differently and this influence is determined using the
power/interest grid shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Power-Interest Grid (Source: Johnson and Scholes, 1999)
1. High Power/High Interest: These are the key subjects and must be kept happy.
2. High Power/Low Interest: These must be kept satisfied.
3. Low Power/High Interest: These must be kept informed regularly.
4. Low Power/Low Interest: These must be kept informed periodically.
(Johnson and Scholes, 1999)
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[ANON]’s stakeholders are as follows:
Primary
Secondary
Management
Trade unions
Employees
Government
Customers
The [ANON] community
Suppliers
Table 2: [ANON]’s stakeholders
Their power and interest are shown in Figure 2.
Keep Satisfied
Key Subjects
Employees
Operations manager
Line Managers
Minimal Effort
Keep Informed
Customers
[ANON] community
Government
Suppliers
Trade unions
High
High
Low
Low
Figure 2: [ANON]’s Power-Interest Grid
Power
Interest
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Table 3 shows how [ANON] mushrooms’ stakeholders will benefit from the implementation of
LM.
Stakeholder
Benefit
Researcher
Opportunity to experiment with existing knowledge, personal
growth and learning, enhanced reputation and prestige within
[ANON]
Operations manager
Improved operational efficiencies, operational costs reduction,
increased profits, more power and control
Line Managers
Improved operational efficiencies, high employee morale,
recognition, job satisfaction
Employees
High morale, monetary benefits, empowerment, job satisfaction,
employment guarantees
Customers
Good quality and reasonably priced products that are delivered on
time and in the correct quantities
Suppliers
On time settlement of accounts, more orders, more profits
[ANON] community
More employment opportunities, community assistance,
scholarships
Government
Less unemployment, increased tax revenue
Shareholders
Good performance on the JSE, more revenue
Table 3: [ANON]’s stakeholder benefits
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The aim of this research is to critically assess the implementation of LM as a means of improving
the operational efficiencies of [ANON]. The research will establish the relationship between LM
and the elimination of waste and improvement in operational efficiency. This action research will
present a strong answer sought by [ANON] on the benefits of implementing LM on solving
operational inefficiencies experienced by the business.
The research is designed to answer [ANON]’s following questions:
1. Does adopting LM result in the elimination of waste?
2. Does adopting LM result in improved manufacturing efficiency and increased
productivity?
3. Does adopting LM lower costs?
4. Does adopting LM improve profitability?
5. Does adopting LM create value?
1. To identify the types of waste that cause operational inefficiencies.
2. To identify LM tools and techniques used to eliminate the identified wastes.
3. To assess the critical success factors (CSF) of LM implementation.
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4. To determine the benefits of implementing LM.
5. To assess the barriers of implementing LM.
LM can improve [ANON]’s operational inefficiencies and improve the business’ profitability. To
be successful, the implementation and maintenance of the system requires the support of all of
[ANON]’s key stakeholders.
LITERATURE REVIEW
This literature review adopts a narrative approach, which is the most appropriate form of review
on an entrepreneurial action project since the research is pursuing a practical goal and not
seeking to demonstrate a definite gap in the literature that the research is trying to fill as with a
systematic review (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016, p.108). The objective of this literature
review is to understand the concept of LM, the wastes of LM, the tools and techniques used to
eliminate waste of LM, the benefits of implementing LM, the CSFs and barriers for LM
implementation.
LM is a system that focuses on maximizing process velocities and productivity through waste
elimination and value creation (Gopalakrishnan, 2010, p.4). According to Wang (2010, p.2), LM is
also viewed as a management technology for the reduction of manufacturing costs emanating
from production, overheads, supply chain management, poor quality, standardization, design
and production line rationalization. Melton (2005) notes that in most production operations, VAs
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constitute 5% of operations, necessary NVAs constituting 35% and NVAs constituting 60% as
shown in Figure 3. Eliminating the 60% NVAs represents a huge opportunity of improving
operational efficiencies.
Figure 3: Manufacturing Activities (Source: Melton, 2005)
The LM concept is based on the Toyota Production System which evolved as a business strategy
after world war two when Toyota’s leaders, realised that American companies were
outperforming Japanese companies tenfold, since they had vast resources available to them
compared to the limited resources available to Japanese companies (Womack and Jones, 1996,
p.9). To overcome this gap, LM was born.
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016, p.90) state that the strategy for searching the literature
used in a review must be defined and planned. This is important because in doing so relevant and
up to date literature can be located and used. Also, this establishes what researches have been
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previously carried out and published on LM that can be related to this action research. Defining
this strategy is essential to the literature review, Tranfield, Denyer and Smart (2003) clearly state
the importance of reporting the literature search strategy sufficiently to ensure the replicability
of the search.
For this research, the search strategy involves defining the following:


Publication period
Language

Subject Area

Literature type

Key words

Database used
(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016, pp.93-102)
Grey literature was also used in this research and it was collected from the following online
sources:

Magazine articles

Trade publications

Newspapers
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The literature search terms are summarized as follows:
Publication
period
Language
Subject Area
Literature
type
Sector
Key words
Databases used
2005 – 2020
English
Operations
management
Business
management
Industrial
engineering
Refereed
journals
and books
Manufacturing
Lean
Lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing
tools and techniques
Lean manufacturing
benefits
Lean manufacturing
implementation
barriers
Lean manufacturing
waste
Lean implementation
critical success factors
Business Source Premier
Science direct
Taylor & Francis online
Academia
ResearchGate
Google scholar
***Only open access journals
will be used***
***The internet will be used
for grey literature***
Table 4: Literature search terms
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Forward and backward search of citations in articles were performed to ensure the high quality
of the literature derived from the database searches. Only articles related to the objectives of
this study were selected. A total of 176 papers were identified and out of these 176 papers, 30
were where found to meet all the criteria set out in the search strategy.
LM is built around the following five key principles:
1. Defining value
2. Mapping the value stream
3. Creating flow
4. Using a pull system
5. Pursuing perfection
(Maware and Adetunji, 2019), as represented in Figure 4.
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Figure 4: 5 Key Principles of Lean Manufacturing (Source: Lean Enterprise Institute, nd)
2.5.1 Defining value
Defining value is the first step a business takes to become lean. Value is what a customer wants
and is willing to pay for (Neha, et al., 2013). Defining value enables businesses to design products
that meet their customer’s needs and remove any unnecessary features (Das, Venkatadri and
Pandey, 2014). This results in the targeting and removal of all the NVAs (Čiarnienė and
Vienažindienė, 2012).
2.5.2 Value stream mapping
All parts of a business are jointly involved in creating and delivering products. The value stream
is the collection of all processes across these joined parts of business that is created to ensure
that every step creates value (Čiarnienė and Vienažindienė, 2012). Waste results from all NVAs
and eliminating them results in the reduction of operating costs (Neha, et al., 2013).
2.5.3 Creating flow
Understanding the flow is important in eliminating manufacturing wastes (Thangarajoo and
Smith, 2015). Creating flow focusses on smoothing out the production process through creating
an uninterrupted value chain within the production process since any waiting is a waste
(Čiarnienė and Vienažindienė, 2012). Eliminating this waste results in products flowing to the
customer without any interruptions, delays, bottlenecks or waiting (Maware and Adetunji, 2019).
2.5.4 Using a pull system
Inventory management is one of the biggest wastes in production systems as such is it imperative
to implement a pull system as opposed to using traditional push systems which are based on
forecasting and scheduling which can create excess inventory (Das, Venkatadri and Pandey,
2014). Pull systems are based on starting new work only when there is a demand for it, with the
goal of producing value actually needed by the customers and avoiding overproduction (Nunes,
Jacobsen and Cardoso, 2019).
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2.5.5 Pursuing perfection
This is the most important step of LM as it incorporates lean thinking and CI into the
organizational culture (Neha, et al.,2013), with all employee encouraged to strive towards
perfection while at the same time delivering products based on customer requirements
(Thangarajoo and Smith, 2015).
Operational inefficiencies are a result of uncontrolled waste (Gupta and Kumar, 2013). The primary
focus of LM is to eliminate these NVAs and create value (Čiarnienė and Vienažindienė, 2012).
Gopalakrishnan (2010) identifies seven types of waste classified as the waste of defects,
inventory, over-processing, over-production, waiting, motion and transport. Lacerdaa, Xambrea
and Alvelosa (2016) adds the eighth one, the waste of unutilized talent. These eight wastes are
shown in figure 5 below:
Figure 5: Eight wastes of Lean Manufacturing (Source: Skhmot, 2017)
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The original seven wastes of LM are grouped into interlinked categories of the man, machine and
material. The relation is shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Waste categories (Source: Basit, Jaweed and Fahad, 2015, p.68)
Man Machine Material
Motion
Waiting
Over
Production Over Defects
Processing
Transportation
Inventory
M o n e y
The man category indicates unnecessary motions and waiting for preceding activity followed by
overproduction. The machine category represents over processing of products and the material
category represents unnecessary transportation and excess inventory. Defects overlap machine
and material. This relationship shows that since main sources of waste overlap each other,
removing one source can lead to the reduction or elimination of others.
The main tools and techniques developed to eliminate the wastes of LM include value stream
mapping, single-minute exchange of dies, Just in time, Five S, Kaizen, Kanban, Poka Yoke, takt
time and Total Productive Maintenance (Jiménez, et al., 2012).
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2.7.1a Waste: Transport
Neha, et al. (2013) describe the waste of transport as the unnecessary movement of inventory
and equipment that adds no value to the product as experienced by [ANON] where equipment
is continuously moved around unnecessarily to and from the workshop and factory.
2.7.1b Tool: Value stream mapping (VSM)
Patel and Patange (2017) prescribes VSM as a means of eliminating unnecessary movements. The
VSM tool helps to visualize, analyze, design and manage the flow of information and materials
needed to develop and deliver products to the customers (Rohani, and Zahraee, 2015). In doing
so, waste of transport can be identified and eliminated (Lacerdaa, Xambrea and Alvelosa, 2016).
From Figure 7, the steps needed to produce a product from creation to delivery are clearly
visualized, with the lead times defined. This helps eliminate the waste of transport.
Figure 7: Value stream mapping (Source: Tallyfy, n.d.)
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However, Rahani and Muhammad (2012) note that conducting a VSM needs experienced people
as it could be vastly cross-functional and complex. If [ANON] lacks this experience, they must
outsource professionals, but they must keep an eye on the return on investment from the
beginning.
2.7.2a Waste: Inventory
Inventory has a holding cost leading to it being considered a form of waste (Patel and Patange,
2017). Excess inventory results from over purchasing or poor forecasting and planning. [ANON]
has written off stock in the past due to poor planning and forecasting, which is costly and does
not add any value to [ANON]’s customers.
2.7.2b Tool: Just in time (JIT)
Wilson (2010) suggests JIT, where raw materials are purchased only when they are needed. In
this system, specific customer orders are only produced thereby keeping inventory levels low.
This results in huge reductions in inventory investments and scrap costs. Figure 8: shows the
process of JIT.
Figure 8: Just in Time (Source: Market Business News, 2020)
Customer
places order
Inventory
manager contacts
supplier
Supplier supplies
raw materials
Production line produces product
Delivery of
product
Customer gets
product
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However, Bhargava (2017) notes that the system relies heavily on good supply of raw materials,
if [ANON]’s suppliers fail to deliver raw materials in the correct amounts at the correct time, the
entire production process can be jeopardized as highlighted in the iphone/ipad manufacturing
industry in China. China relies heavily on South Korea to provide critical parts for the assembly of
these devices, with the emergence of the new COVID 19 pandemic, just-in-time supply chains
have disrupted supply of these key components and this will cause a shortage of iphones/ipads
(Financial times, 2020).
2.7.3a Waste: Motion
The unnecessary movement of people, machinery and equipment is a waste that cost money
(Wilson, 2010, p.26). This motion includes walking, bending, lifting, stretching, reaching and
moving which results in non-value-added time and increased costs. Though Dixit, Dave and Singh
(2015) recognizes that there will always be motion in workplaces, with 5% of the motion useful,
the goal is to minimize these motions.
2.7.3b Tool: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain (5S)
The most efficient way is to use the 5S tool as demonstrated in Figure 9. 5S results in a clean,
uncluttered, safe and well-organized workplace (Jiménez, et al., 2012), which reduces the need
for unnecessary motion.
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The main challenge of the 5S system is that of change. Employees have been observed to be
resistant to change hence the implementation of 5S has to be gradual for it to be effective.
2.7.4a Waste: Defects
Defects result from products that are not fit for use. This results in the product either getting
reworked or dumped, which is costly as this adds additional costs to production without adding
any value (Soliman, 2017). LM aims to prevent defects from occurring rather than correcting
them.
2.7.4b Tool: Poka Yoke
Poka Yoke can be used to eliminate defects. Sable and Dakhore (2017) identify Poka Yoke as
mistake proofing using any automatic device or method that prevents an error from occurring or
makes the error immediately identifiable once it has occurred. As shown in Figure: 10, a
prevention-based Poka yoke system detects the defect before it occurs and a detection-based
Poka yoke signals when a mistake has been made. Once the detection has been made, the system
does not allow continuation of the process until the problem has been solved. This eliminates
the waste of defects.
Figure 9: 5S (Source: Smart PM Community, 2015)
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Figure 10: Poka Yoke (Source: RNA Automation, 2019)
Process Mistakes Defects
Detection-based Poka Yoke
Prevention-based Poka Yoke
However, the challenge with Poka Yoke has been the difficulty in convincing all stakeholders to
implement poka-yoke devices. Some of the devices are expensive and some businesses might
not be keen on making the investment.
2.7.5a Waste: Waiting
The waste of waiting includes delays for example process delays, idle equipment, people delays,
instruction delays etc. This is costly as it ties up capital and also not adding any value to the
product (Soliman, 2017). Waiting can also trigger the waste of defects if the processes get hurried
in order to catch up, shop floor workers have been noted to take shortcuts and bypass systems
when they fall behind in production.
2.7.5b Tool: Takt time
Soliman (2017) recommends Takt time to eliminate the waste of waiting through ensuring that
processes are better matched with regards to cycle times. Takt time is the rate and speed needed
to complete a product so as to meet customers demand (Sundara, Balajib and SatheeshKumar,
2014). These rates and speeds are measured through determining the average time that is taken
from the start of production of a unit and the start of production of the following unit (Sundara,
Balajib and SatheeshKumar, 2014), as shown in Figure 11.
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However, takt time has been known to create boredom in employees because of repetitive tasks.
2.7.5c Tool: Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
Wilson (2010, p.63) recommends using TPM to Improve machine reliability. TPM is a
management approach to maintenance focusing on the involvement of all the business’
employees in equipment improvement. As shown in Figure 12, TPM involves a range of methods
which leads to in improved reliability, quality, and production (Das, Venkatadri and Pandey,
2013).
Figure 11: Takt time (Source: Wedgwood, 2006, p.138)
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Figure 12: Total Productive Maintenance (Source: Grabner. 2015)
However, TPM has the challenge of requiring more money upfront to set up and execute and it
requires a total organization change if it is to be effective.
2.7.5d Tool: Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)
SMED is used to reduce the time spent to complete equipment changeovers to below 10 minutes
thereby eliminating the waste equipment and process delays (Jiménez, et al., 2012). An example
of the use of SMED is the amount of time it takes to change tires in Formula one racing, which
happens in seconds thereby not delaying the driver form continuing with the race. However,
SMED has been observed to increase health and safety risks in operations due to the time
pressure to speed up equipment changeovers.
2.7.6a Waste: Overproduction
The waste of overproduction arises when excess goods that are not needed are made or when
goods that are needed are made earlier before being asked for or in excessive quantities
(Lacerdaa, Xambrea and Alvelosa, 2016). Excess goods are usually made on a “just in case” basis.
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This results in the waste of inventory, potential waste of defects, increased storage costs and
excessive lead-time.
2.7.6b Tool: Just in time (JIT)
Dixit, Dave and Singh (2015) suggest using JIT to eliminate overproduction. However, Elbert
(2016, p.225) acknowledges that JIT is heavily depended on good supply of raw materials and if
suppliers fail to timely deliver raw materials in correct quantities then entire production process
can be jeopardized.
2.7.6c Tool: Kanban
The waste of overproduction can also be eliminated using Kanban. Kanban system uses Kanban
cards to visualize and manage work moving through a process (Wang, 2010, pp.185 – 188), as
shown in Figure 13. A product is only produced if there is a Kanban card for it thereby eliminating
the waste of overproduction.
To do
In progress
Done
Figure 13: Kanban (Source: Thomas, 2019)
C A D
G B
Flow
2.7.7a Waste: Over-processing
This waste results from the addition of unnecessary features or processing steps that do not add
value to the customer, resulting in over-processing (Elnamrouty and AbuShaaban, 2013). Carrying
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out more analysis on products than needed, over-engineering solutions, using a higher precision
equipment than necessary all results in over-processing (Soliman, 2017).
2.7.7b Tool: Value stream mapping (VSM)
To overcome this type of waste, it is important to apply the defining value principle and
understand what the customer wants. Wang (2010, p.11) identifies VSM as a way of eliminating
over-engineering and unnecessary steps that adds no value to the customer. As highlighted
before, VSM implementation requires experienced people as it could be vastly cross-functional
and complex.
2.7.8a Waste: Non-utilized talent
The waste of non-utilized talent was not part of the original wastes of LM and on its own is not
manufacturing-process specific. The separation of the role of management from employees and
the failure to engage shop-floor workers for the vast manufacturing knowledge creates this waste
(Soliman, 2017).
2.7.8b Tool: Kaizen (CI)
Elbert (2016, p.11). suggest involving all workers in order to have CI and the drive towards
perfection. Employees must be encouraged and invited to give feedback on operations and areas
where they feel improvement is needed. [ANON] must ensure that employees are trained and
motivated for a CI culture to be built in the business (Sundara, Balajib and SatheeshKumar, 2014).
Figure 13 shows the principles of Kaizen and employee involvement in the system.
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Figure 14: Kaizen (Source: Joshi, 2019)
LM implementation relies on internal and external CSFs (AlManei, Salonitis and Xu, 2017) as
shown in table 5.
Internal
External
Communication
Management commitment
Resources
Management support
Training
Employee commitment
Working culture
Communication
Customer focus
Good raw material supply
Government intervention
Table 5: Lean manufacturing implementation CFS (Source: AlManei, Salonitis and Xu, 2017)
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Management support and commitment are the most crucial CSFs for LM implementation. LM can
be implemented successfully if management support is secured as they provide adequate
resources to support change (Salonitisa and Tsinopoulos, 2016).
Implementing LM helps improve operational efficiencies, Shoeb (2017) notes LM reduces space
utilization, lead time, work in progress and inventory while increasing productivity and improving
quality. This is supported by an article in the Times of India, where the author states that LM
increases productivity, leads to faster customer response, reduced cost of quality, less inventory,
optimum shop floor utilization and reduced working capital management (Bennett, 2011). An
article on LM in Business matters adds that LM, increases employee satisfaction, improves
customer service, improves lead times, improves quality and reduces waste products (Business
Matters, 2019). Chavez (2019) in his article for Manufacturing tomorrow, states that LM removes
waste, shortens cycle time and increases production, produces more per man hour, reduces
operational costs and maximizes profits. This is the desired future [ANON] is looking for (Coghlan
and Brannick, 2010, p.67).
Kumar and Kumar (2015) identified the following LM implementation barriers:

Management

Financial

Resource

Employee

Knowledge

Past experience

Conflicts
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They cited management as the major lean barrier through lack of commitment, focus,
support, urgency and long-term vision. They also identified lack of resources as a barrier.
The resources are broken down into capital, labour, time, technology, consultancy,
innovation power and communication. Knowledge was also cited as a barrier as lack of the
know-how of how to implement, understanding and training are a barrier to
implementation. Conflicts were also cited as there can be conflicts with other programs,
demand volatility, conflicts with company culture of conflict with the ERP system used by
the business. Employees are another barrier as they can be resistant to change due fear of
job losses or fear of failure. LM in not always associated with direct financial payback but
rather with effective cost reduction and operational efficiency improvement, this can prove
to be a barrier if this benefit is not understood. Finally, past experience is another barrier if
past LM projects have failed. [ANON] must overcome these barriers if they are to implement
LM successfully. Figure 15 shows the barriers of LM.
Figure 15: Barriers in Lean Manufacturing Implementation (Source: Kumar and Kumar 2014)
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Operational inefficiencies are an offset of NVAs that occurs in production processes. These
wastes lead to increased operational costs which in turn makes the whole operations
unprofitable. Implementing LM eliminates these wastes which results in improved operational
efficiencies, increased productivity, lowering of costs, improved profitability and value creation.
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RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
Methodology as described by Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016, p.4), is the theory of how a
research should be undertaken. For this research, the research onion adopted from Saunders,
Lewis and Thornhill (2016, p.124) shown in Figure 16 was used to develop the methodology.
This research is done in two phases. Phase one is based on secondary research only and phase
two will be conducted once the phase one is completed and submitted. Phase two will involve
Figure 16: Research Onion (Source: Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2016, p.124)
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primary research and the methodology to conduct phase two will also be discussed in this
section.
The categories that were chosen for the research design using the research onion are shown in
Figure 17 and further explained as to why they were chosen.
Figure 17: Lean Manufacturing project research onion
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) state that Interpretivism integrates human interest into a
study and they emphasise on looking at organisations from the perspectives of different groups
of people. This synonymous with this research since [ANON] employees and management are
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key stakeholders in this research and the success of the implementation of LM relies heavily on
them.
The researcher is part of what is being researched in this value-bound research and their
Interpretations are key to contribution (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2016, p.136).
Though LM has been in practice for decades, the primary focus was on the automotive industry.
There haven’t been enough studies carried out on LM implementation in the food processing
industry. For this reason, the inductive approach was selected, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill
(2016) suggest that inductive reasoning aims at developing a theory based on experience. This
approach, as added by Goddard and Melville (2004), aims to construct a theory by producing
meaning from collected data sets as shown in Figure 17. However, Goddard and Melville (2004)
also highlight that with the inductive approach, existing theory can also be used to formulate the
research question as with this action research.
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Qualitative data will be used in this research since it is based on the inductive approach
(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2016, p.168). Data collection will be done through the mono
method since all data will be collected from secondary sources only, which is supported by
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016, p.168) who state that mono method qualitative studies may
use single data collection techniques and corresponding qualitative analytical procedures.
Figure 18: Inductive approach (Source: Bedraoui, 2016)
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AR is the strategy chosen for this research because it focuses on finding solutions to problems by
using different forms of knowledge through a participative and collaborative approach (Saunders,
Lewis and Thornhill 2016, p.189). Specific practices such as the operational inefficiencies
experienced by [ANON] can be solved through the application of AR as AR enables the
opportunity for an in-depth knowledge of the problem to be gained. The researcher and
[ANON]’s stakeholders have a common purpose of solving the operational inefficiencies
experienced by the business i.e. the organizational problem (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.5).
AR strategy promotes organisational learning, the problem is fully diagnosed, action is planned,
taken and evaluated resulting in the production of practical outcomes and recommendations to
solve the problems and promote change within the organisation (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill
2016, pp.190-191). AR bases mainly on qualitative elements however, it can contain quantitative
elements as with this study since the focus is on the implementation of LM to improve
operational efficiencies. McKernan (1996) identifies three types of AR as described in table 6
below:
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For this research the Practical-deliberative AR is most appropriate as it satisfies the aims of this
research, with the participation of [ANON]’s stakeholders.
Table 6: Types of action research (Source: McKernan, 1996, p.16-27)
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There are four stages to carrying out an AR as shown in Figure 19.
Figure 19: The AR cycle (Source: Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.8)
3.7.1a Pre-step: Context and purpose
AR begins with seeking an understating of the project concept i.e. understanding why it is
necessary and establishing collaborative relationships with stakeholders affected by the project
concept (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.8)
3.7.1b Constructing
This is a collaborative venture where stakeholders in the business engage in constructing what
the issues the business is experiencing are and which action will be planned and taken. This
construction might change in later iterations of the AR cycle; however, these changes must be
recorded (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.9)
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3.7.1c Planning
Planning follows from examination of the context and purpose and the construction stage of the
research (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.9). It focuses on a first step or a series of first steps.
3.7.1d Action
The plans developed form the planning action stage are implemented and innervations are made
in collaboration with stakeholders (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.10).
3.7.1e Evaluating
Both intended and unintended outcomes of the action are examined to see if the they fitted and
matched the original construction, if the action was taken appropriately and deduce what feeds
next cycle of stage 1, 2 and 3 (constructing, planning and action) (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010,
p.10).
The action continues in spiral form as shown in Figure 20.
Figure 20: The action research cycle (Source: Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.10)
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3.7.1f Meta learning
A reflection AR cycle exists parallel to the core AR research cycle, which is an AR cycle of the core
AR cycle, meaning there is need to construct, plan, action and evaluate how the AR project is
going and what the researcher is learning during the time the project is being engaged as shown
in Figure 20 (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.12).
Figure 21: Meta cycle of AR (Source: Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.12)
This meta learning is split into three reflection phases; content focuses on the issues raised,
process focuses on strategies and procedures and premise critiques underlying assumptions and
perspectives of the AR project (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.12).
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In a LS, data is collected repeatedly for the same variables over an extended period as with the
LM implementation research, with Goddard and Melville (2004) highlighting that examining
change over time is an important factor of the research. Though there are time constraints for
this research, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016, p.201) highlight that it is still possible to do a
LS due to the massive amounts of published data that has been collected over time, that can be
analysed. The requirement to use secondary data only for this research provides the only
possibility of undertaking LS (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2016, p.331).
3.9.1a Phase one:
Only secondary data will be collected and used for phase one of this AR as this is one of the
requirements of the research.
3.9.1b Methodology
The secondary data collected will include both qualitative and quantitative elements which is
synonymous with AR. The secondary data on LM will be collected from journals, books, academic
literature, reputable databases and industry publications. This data must enable the answering
of the research questions and meeting of the research objectives (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill
2016, p.335).
3.9.1c Sampling
Purposive sampling will be used to sample the data with only data that satisfies the research
questions and objectives selected (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2016, p.301). This method has
been chosen because of the need to reach the targeted sample quickly.
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3.9.1d Data analysis
The collected data will be analysed for common themes and repeated ideas. This method is
chosen as it meets the requirements of the satisfying the research question and objectives. The
collected data’s reliability and validity will be determined by answering the following questions:


Who collected the data?
When and why the data was collected?
 What data was collected?
(Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.75).
3.9.2a Phase two
Phase two of this research will involve doing primary research.
3.9.2b Methodology
Qualitative methods will be mainly used supported by quantitative methods. Data will be
collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary data will be collected using a
questionnaire developed using close-ended questions and using semi- structured interviews. The
same sources used for secondary data in phase one will be used in phase two.
3.9.2c Sampling
Non-probability sampling will be used since there is a probability that not all individuals in the
sample population have equal chances of being selected and included in the study sample
(Welman and Kruger, 2001).
3.9.2d Data analysis
The qualitative data will be analyzed for common themes and repeated ideas. Descriptive and
inferential statistics will be used to analyze the quantitative data. Reliability and validity of the
data will be tested using the Pearson’s correlation test. Hypothesis will be developed, and
regression and correlation analysis will be used to test the proposed hypothesis.
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Many databases with valuable information require a subscription fee and this proved to be a
limitation in data collection as the researcher was forced to utilize free access databases or those
that the university has subscription too. This can have an impact on the quality and reliability of
the data used for this research.
The research is based on secondary data and the design of the research has been formulated
using the research onion and justified by literature.
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DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Data analysis is a process of analyzing collected information to discover data useful for decision
making (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016) and for researchers to come up with meaningful
conclusions. For this AR, secondary data is used and Collins (2010, p.122) emphasize that there
should be caution when viewing this data, as what is done with primary data and this data should
enable the answering of the research questions and meeting the research objectives.
LM has been recommended for [ANON] to improve the business’ operational efficiencies and for
LM implementation to be successful, active stakeholder participation is essential
(Gopalakrishnan, 2010). King (2019) add that LM is 20 % technical and 80 % behavioral, making
stakeholder buy-in one of the most important components of LM implementation. Many LM
projects have failed due to the inattention to the stakeholders especially those that wield the
greatest influence over the implementation and sustainability of the system (Vijaya, 2016). A
stakeholder analysis was conducted as an initial step to the LM implementation research in order
to identify the full range of [ANON]’s stakeholders and their influences.
[ANON]’s stakeholders are as follows:
Primary
Secondary
Management
Trade unions
Employees
Government
Customers
The [ANON] community
Suppliers
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Table 7: [ANON]’s stakeholders
[ANON]’s stakeholders’ power and interest are as follows:
Keep Satisfied
Key Subjects
Employees
Operations manager
Production manager
Maintenance manager
Finance manager
Quality manager
Harvesting manager
Technical manager
Human resources manager
Minimal Effort
Keep Informed
Customers
[ANON] community
Government
Suppliers
Trade unions
The operations manager and line managers were identified as the key subjects who must be
engaged fully, with the effort channelled towards satisfying them. It is important to have key
stakeholders help in shaping the LM project in its early stages as this ensures their buy-in, secures
their support, guarantees their valuable input and resources. Employees were identified as the
enablers of transformation and coopting them into the project from the outset increases the
likelihood of success. Early engagement of employees develops their skills, enables them to gain
confidence and encourages commitment, also showing them that there are no hidden agendas
Figure 22: [ANON]’s Power-Interest
High
Low
Low Interest High
Power
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but that LM will improve operational efficiencies and profitability. The [ANON] community,
suppliers and trade unions must be kept informed of the process. For [ANON], it was found to be
a bit interesting since the business employs the bulk of its employees from the [ANON]
community so employees serve as community leaders. This has its pros and cons, if the
employees buy into the LM idea then it also means the community would support the initiative.
However, if there is resistance to the idea especially on issues pertaining to job security, then the
LM project can be met by massive resistance from both the employees and the community and
this can have a massive impact on its success. Suppliers play a very important role if systems such
as JIT are to be successful as the system relies heavily on good supply of raw materials hence the
suppliers need to be kept informed about the LM project and the essential role they play. The
trade unions have a say in matters that pertain to job security and employee welfare and it would
be good to keep them informed of the LM project. Moreover, getting the trade union’s buy in
will most certainly guarantee employee buy in. Lastly the customers must be informed of the LM
project as one of the aims of the LM project is to create value and value is what the customer
would be willing to pay for however their involvement must be kept at a minimum. It would be
nice to inform the government however; it would not be essential as they won’t directly input
into the system.
4.2.1 Understanding the stakeholders
From the data gathered from informal meetings with the stakeholders, it was found to be
important for the researcher to know the stakeholders’ feelings and reaction towards LM
implementation, to assist them in engaging and communicating with the stakeholders in a way
beneficial to the project (Neal, 2020). It was found to be important to know the stakeholders’
interest in the outcome of the project, whether be it positive or negative, what motivates them,
how they intend to be communicated with, who else they could influence with their opinions and
how their support can be gained (Neal, 2020).
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4.2.2 Stakeholder needs and expectations
[ANON]’s stakeholders have different needs and expectations as shown in table 9 and 10, these
must be considered during LM implementation if it is to be successful.
Primary stakeholders
Needs and expectations
How to capture key issues
Employees
Job security, increased wages, good
working conditions
Employee meetings,
consultation and feedback
Customers
Competitive pricing, good quality
products, on time delivery,
reliability and value
Customer reviews and
feedback, relationship
management
Suppliers
On-time account settlements,
beneficial supplier-client
relationships, more orders
Supplier reviews and feedback,
relationship management
Table 8: [ANON]’s primary stakeholder expectations
Secondary stakeholders
Needs and expectations
How to capture key issues:
The unions
Representation and cooperation
Consultation and feedback on
employment and employee
welfare issues
Shareholders
Profitability
Consultation and engagement
exercises to identify concerns
The [ANON] community
Employment opportunities for
community members, social
responsibility and engagement
Consultation, engagement and
feedback
Government
Employment opportunities for
citizens, increased tax revenue
Consultation, engagement and
feedback
Table 9: [ANON]’s secondary stakeholder expectations
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The most important outcome of the stakeholder analysis would be the ability to know which
stakeholders will support the project and which ones would likely block it. This enables the easy
management of the stakeholders as it will be easy to figure out which stakeholders require
change management as the research progresses. Change can be difficult in an organizational
context and it could interrupt the existing state of affairs, leading to conflict (Aldemir, 2010). A
proper framework such as the Kotter’s 8 step change model can be relied upon to successfully
implement change during the LM project as described in detail in Table 10.
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Table 10: Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model (Source: Culccaryn, 2015)
[ANON]’s AR research was carried out in four stages as per Coghlan and Brannick, (2010)’s model
as shown in Figure 19
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4.4.1 Context and purpose
[ANON] has experienced operational inefficiencies that has led to high operational costs and low
profits. Both internal and external forces have led to the need of change in the business and this
change requires the input and active participation of [ANON]’s stakeholders if the required
improvements are to be realised.
Cycle 1
4.4.2 Constructing: [ANON] stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder engagement plays the most vital role in the implementation and success of LM
(Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.68). A series of meetings were held between the researcher and
[ANON]’s stakeholders. The researcher initially had informal meetings with the shop-floor
workers, armed with the symptoms of LM identified by Gopalakrishnan (2010, pp.11-28), to see
if they were picking up the same issues on the floor as what the researcher had done. The
researcher was careful not to alarm the workers or to act as if he was investigating their
performance which could have led to them holding back information. The workers identified LM
symptoms 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,17,19 as discussed in the introduction, signaling the need
to implement LM.
Figure 19: The AR cycle (Source: Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.8)
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The researcher engaged the operations manager and the line managers during a farewell party
where they discussed their own findings together with the findings from their engagement with
the shop-floor workers and the need to implement LM. Though some line managers were not
keen as they viewed some of the findings as undermining their performance and were also not
happy that the shop-floor workers were consulted before them, the operations manager was
keen on the idea and requested time to do some research on the system as he had heard about
it before from some of his former colleagues. The production manager had his reservations on
the JIT system as they were sceptical on the feasibility of the system especially during the peak
Christmas season were orders can change anytime. However, the researcher explained to them
that the system was not rigid and could be evolved to match the current settings. The goal
however would still be to eliminate waste and create value.
The operations manager requested that the researcher put up a short presentation of the system
and the researcher drew up a short presentation which explained the system together with its
use, benefits and success, using secondary LM data collected from scientific journals and industry
data, together with the resources needed for the implementation of the system. Having heard
about talk of the LM system through the grapevine, the employee representatives engaged the
researcher as there was a lot of misinformation that was coming out especially from the line
managers opposed to the system. The researcher explained the system to them, and they were
also in agreement regarding to the symptoms identified by their colleagues and the need to
implement LM however, they requested guarantees that the implementation of LM would not
put their jobs at risk. The researcher took the opportunity to engage the employee
representatives also as the [ANON] community representatives since they all stay in that
community. The operations manager agreed to offer resources needed to carry out the research
such as time, access to relevant personnel anytime when needed and access to operational
information from all the departments which can aid in the research. It was agreed that
stakeholders would be kept informed about the research and their commitment would be
generated through their participation in the research process.
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4.4.3 Planning
Insider AR involves taking planned change as shown in Figure 23.
Figure 23: The process of change (Source: Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.66)
4.4.3a Describing the need for change and degree of choice
[ANON] is experiencing operational inefficiencies which are eroding the business’ profitability
thereby signalling the need for change (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, pp.66-67). After informal
consultations with [ANON]’s primary stakeholders, [ANON] was found to be experiencing LM
symptoms 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,17,19. This signals the need to implement LM
(Gopalakrishnan, 2010, pp.11-28). Also, as highlighted in [The Parent Company]’s financial
reports for 2018 and 2019, [ANON] experienced disappointing sales volumes and low-price
realisations during the first half of F2018 and although there was some improvement in the
second half, the full year the full-year performance lagged that of the prior year ([The Parent
Company]., 2020). By reducing the cost of production [ANON] will be able to turn the business’
profitability around. Most of the business’ departments went over their departmental budgets
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in 2019 and overheard costs also increased thereby signalling the need for immediate change. As
one of [The Parent Company’s]’s major brands, [ANON]’s financial performance has a direct
impact on how [The Parent Company] performs on the JSE hence the need for immediate change.
4.4.3b Desired Future State
[ANON] desire the business to operate efficiently, lower operating costs and create value, leading
to the business becoming profitable, which will facilitate business growth and this will benefit
both the business and other external stakeholders such as the [ANON] community and the
government in terms of Job creation and more income tax revenue.
4.4.3c Assessing the present in the light of the desired future
The LM symptoms (Gopalakrishnan, 2010, pp.11-28) are the present reality needing change if
[ANON] are to start operating efficiently, reducing operational costs and becoming profitable
which is the desired future that the business is seeking (Coghlan and Brannick, 2010, p.67). As
described in the literature review, wastes are interlinked, with one form giving rise to the next
hence they all need to be eliminated with equal priority.
4.4.3d Managing the transition
Moving from the current state to the desired future is the actual change process for [ANON] and
this intervening period of transition requires proper management. The management can be done
in two parts; firstly, by having a strategic and operational plan defining how the desired state will
be achieved. The second part involves a commitment plan which focuses on who at [ANON] must
be committed to the change if it is to take place as there might be some stakeholders such as line
managers whose commitment is a prerequisite to the LM implementation project (Coghlan and
Brannick, 2010, p.68)
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4.4.4 Action
The eight wastes of LM are the same wastes causing [ANON]’s operational inefficiencies as
discovered through stakeholder collaboration into the root cause analysis of [ANON]’s
operational inefficiencies. The tools discussed in the literature review are the most appropriate
tools that will be able to eliminate the identified wastes and create value.
4.4.5 Evaluating
The LM AR is based on [ANON]’s research questions which are answered through evaluating
secondary data from academic journals and industry data.
4.4.5a Does adopting LM result in the elimination of waste?
LM implementation results in an 80% reduction in work-in-process inventory (waste of inventory
and production) and a 90% reduction in lead time (waste of waiting) (Shoeb, 2017). Driouach,
Zarbane and Beidouri (2019) found out in their research that LM results in an average of 80%
reduction in stock reduction thereby eliminating the wastes of overproduction and inventory. In
their research Melton (2005) found out that through LM implementation there was an
approximately 30% reduction in the waste of inventory. The manufacturing Advisory Service in
the UK cited by LMT (n.d.) found out that businesses who implemented LM reduced their scrap
by 26%. The manufacturing Advisory Service in the UK cited by Davies (n.d.) also found out that
with LM, businesses experienced a 33% increase in stock turnover. Driouach, Zarbane and
Beidouri (2019) found out in their research that LM results in a 90% reduction in cycle time
thereby eliminating the waste of waiting and increasing process efficiency, reducing occupied
areas by 75% thereby reducing the waste of motion and transportation, reducing changeover
times by almost 70% thereby eliminating the waste of waiting and reducing quality defects by
70% to 90% thereby eliminating the waste of defects.
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4.4.5b Does adopting LM result in improved manufacturing efficiency and increased
productivity?
Ferdousi (2009) conducted a research on nine factories to investigate manufacturing
performance improvement by using LM and found the following results:
Average % productivity increase after LM implementation
Percentage %
10.0 – 20.0%
67.0%
40.0 – 60.0%
33.0%
Table 11: Lean practices productivity increase (Source: Ferdousi, 2009)
From the nine companies that they researched, 67% experienced between, 10-20% increase in
productivity and 33% experienced between 40-60% increase in productivity. In terms of
production these are huge increases that leads to improved operational efficiencies.
They also found the following data with regards to the efficiency of order completion.
Company
Before LM (days)
After LM (days)
% gain due to reduction
1
30
15
50%
2
16
13
19%
3
80
70
13%
4
120
90
25%
5
40
25
38%
6
42
28
33%
7
60
55
8%
8
120
105
13%
9
75
43
43%
Table 12: Efficiency of order completion (Source: Ferdousi, 2009)
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Figure 24: Efficiency of order completion
Production efficiency improvement ranged from 8% to 50% at an average of 27%, which satisfies
[ANON]’s research question.
They also found the following data with regards to the time taken to complete a product:
Company
Before LM (minutes)
After LM (minutes)
% of reduction
1
60
40
33%
2
30
15
50%
3
55
49
11%
4
75
60
20%
5
50
39
22%
6
60
40
33%
7
50
40
20%
8
60
40
33%
9
40
35
13%
Table 13: Time taken to complete a product (Source: Ferdousi, 2009)
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Figure 25: Time taken to complete a product
They found out that after LM implementation, the reduction in standard work sequence ranged
from 11% to 50%, indicating improved efficiency.
In separate studies, Melton (2005) found out that with LM there was an approximately 50%
reduction in the overall supply chain cycle time thereby increasing efficiency. They also found out
that with LM customer order accuracy in terms of delivery and quality increased by
approximately 25%. Rajenthirakumar and Shankar (2011) also found in their study that LM
reduces takt time by 26%, cycle time by 8% and increased the assembly line production by 23%.
MTS (2018) citing Dakota bodies, add that LM led to a 5% increase in their overall productivity
and this is also supported by the manufacturing Advisory Service in the UK cited by LMT (n.d.)
who witnessed a 25% increase in productivity for companies who implemented LM. Shoeb (2017)
found that LM implementation results in a 75% reduction in space utilization and a 50% increase
in productivity. Davies (n.d.) citing the Manufacturing Advisory Service (UK) add that with LM,
businesses they got data for experienced a 26% increase in delivery targets met, a 25% increase
in productivity and a 33% in improvement of space efficiency. MassMEP (2020) add that Savage
Arms Inc., a 113 years old arms manufacturer experienced a productivity increase of 50% and a
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50% reduction in lot size and production lead time after implementing LM. All this points to LM
improving manufacturing efficiency and increased productivity thereby answering [ANON]’s
research question. Driouach, Zarbane and Beidouri (2019) found out in their research that LM
results in an average increase of 50% in productivity which consequently cut down manufacturing
costs, which is what [ANON] is looking to achieve.
4.4.5c Does adopting LM lower costs?
Ferdousi (2009) conducted a research on nine factories to investigate manufacturing
performance improvement by using LM and eight of the factories responded as follows:
Company
Before Lean ($)
After Lean ($)
As a %
1
8.50
7.00
17.65%
2
11.00
9.00
18.18%
3
4.40
3.20
27.27%
4
10.00
8.00
20.00%
5
1.40
1.30
7.14%
6
3.50
3.00
14.29%
7
0.87
0.84
3.45%
8
4.50
3.00
33.33%
Table 14: Reduction in unit production cost (Source: Ferdousi, 2009)
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Figure 26: Reduction in unit production cost
It is evident that implementation of LM results in the reduction in unit production costs thereby
answering [ANON]’s research question as the percentage reduction ranged from 3.45% to
33.33% at an average of 18.39%. Driouach, Zarbane and Beidouri (2019) found out in their
research that LM results in an average increase of 50% in productivity which consequently cut
down manufacturing costs, which is what [ANON] is looking to achieve.
4.4.5d Does adopting LM improve profitability?
MTS (2018) citing Dakota bodies, add that LM led a 20% increase of their revenues and this is
supported by Savage arms Inc. as cited by MassMEP (2020), who experienced a 78% increase in
their revenues after implementing LM. This combined with lower operating costs leads to
increased profits.
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4.4.5e Does adopting LM create value?
Quality increase views
Responses (%)
Average percentage quality increase LM implementation
(a) 10.0 -20.0%
33.0%
(b) 21.0 -40.0%
22.0%
(c) 41.0 – 60.0%
33.0%
(d) 61.0 – 80.0%
11.0%
Table 15: Views about quality increase (Source: Ferdousi, 2009)
Figure 27: Quality increase
Out of the nine companies Ferdousi (2009) researched, 33% experienced between 10-20%
increase in quality, 22% experienced between 21-40 % increase, 33% experienced between 41-
60% and 11% experienced between 61-80% increase in quality. An increase in quality correlates
to the creation of value.
Shoeb (2017) found that LM implantation resulted in an 80% improvement in quality in their
research in support to what Ferdousi (2009) has also found. Driouach, Zarbane and Beidouri
(2019) found out in their research that LM results in a 70% to 90% reduction in quality defects,
this creates value for the end user of the product.
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Cycle 2 and 3
Cycle 2 and 3 will be conducted during phase 2 were primary research will be carried out.
4.5.1 Content
Looking at the issues picked up, the researcher is of the opinion that experience has been valued
more than technical ability. 90% of the line managers have been with the business for more than
15 years and there hasn’t been any training on manufacturing systems at [ANON] leaving the
business to rely on experience. There is always the possibility of getting experience in doing the
wrong things.
4.5.2 Process
The strategies used by the researcher for data collection need improvement as this nearly
derailed the whole AR. This can be as a result of the inexperience the researcher has on AR.
4.5.3 Premise
The researcher had assumed that everyone would quickly come on board to try solving the
operational inefficiency problems experienced by the business, however, there is a very
conservative culture at the business which the researcher feels can be a serious challenge
especially when there is need to implement change
Stakeholders play a vital role in the implementation and maintenance of LM and their input is
vital to the system. Secondary research data show that through implementing LM, [ANON] can
improve their operational efficiencies, reduce operating costs and improve the business’
profitability.
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CONCLUSION
The objectives of this study were to understand the concepts of LM, the wastes of LM, the tools
and techniques used to eliminate waste of LM, the benefits of implementing LM and the CSFs
and barriers for LM implementation, with the study designed to investigate implementing LM as
a means of improving the operational inefficiencies experienced by [ANON], which are affecting
the business’ profitability. The study identified both powerful internal and external drivers that
signaled the need for change which [ANON] cannot afford to turn a blind eye on.
A literature review was carried out and it was able to explain the concepts of LM, discussing in
detail the five core principles that underpin LM namely defining value, value stream mapping,
creating flow, pull, and perfection. The literature review further discussed in detail the eight
wastes of LM namely defects, motion, over-production, unutilized talent, transport, waiting,
over-processing and inventory and these wastes where directly linked to the operational
inefficiencies experienced by [ANON] meaning their elimination would improve the business’
operational efficiencies. The most appropriate tools and techniques namely VSM, JIT, SMED, 5S,
Poka Yoke, Takt time, TPM, Kanban and Kaizen designed to eliminate the eight wastes of LM
where evaluated together with challenges associated with their implementation. Apart from
Poka yoke systems and TPM that require initial investment upfront, the rest of the tools and
techniques can be implemented with minimal cost which is good news for [ANON]’s LM
implementation.
LM implementation has its barriers and management was cited as the major barrier as
management commitment, focus and support is key to the successful implementation and
maintenance of LM. This was supported by the CSF of LM were management support was also
identified as the CSF that affects LM implementation the most hence securing management
support ensures the successful implementation of LM since they provide the resources to support
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change. It positive to note that [ANON]’s operations manager bought into the LM philosophy,
which signals commitment, focus and support.
Stakeholders were found to play a vital role in the implementation and maintenance of LM. A
stakeholder analysis was carried out and there were mixed reactions from keys stakeholders.
Even though the operations manager was keen on the LM system, there were some line
managers who were not keen mainly due to the fear of change and job security. It will be essential
to implement some change management as the research progresses using the Kotter’s 8 step
change model if the project is to succeed because all key stakeholders must share the same
vision.
Using secondary data from scientific journals and the manufacturing industry publications, the
relationship between adopting LM and the elimination of waste, improvement of manufacturing
efficiency, increase in productivity, lowering of costs, improvement of profitability and creation
of value was established. This is key to the research as this provides the answers that [ANON]
seeks in order to solve their operational inefficiencies. Considering all this information, it can be
safely concluded that LM is the best and cost-effective system that can help [ANON] improve
their operational efficiencies.
Resistance to LM could be felt especially from some line managers who have been working in the
business for a long time and got used to operating in certain ways which according to LM are
identified as a source of waste. These line managers felt as if their years of experience were being
undermined by the researcher who has only been with the business for two years, of which that
was not the case so the researcher recommends that prior to implementing any change, key
stakeholders must be formally consulted and if need be, be sent for external training so that they
get to fully understand the system and how they and the business are set to benefit so as to easily
get their buy in.
The researcher also noted that there was a lot of miscommunication within the business, for
example employee representatives were misinformed about LM implementation via the
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grapevine and this caused unnecessary anxiety leading to the representatives seeking a meeting
with the researcher. The researcher recommends that there should be proper and formal
communication from management to employees regarding any pending changes or system
implementation thereby allaying any fears of uncertainty.
The researcher also noticed a divide between management and the shop-floor workers (the “us
and them” syndrome) which could derail any attempts to implement systems that require change
for example LM in this case therefore the researcher recommends that management should
reach out to the shop-floor workers to form a strong unity of purpose and should explore team
building exercises with all employees to build strong working relationships within the business.
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REFLECTION ON LEARNING
Undertaking an AR has been eye opening for the researcher as it required them to research a
system that they are a part of without separating themselves from it. This presented some
challenges to the researcher since they had no experience in undertaking an AR and they found
themselves navigating around to find the best way to approach the research, leading to a lot of
uncertainty and frustration. For example, after the need for LM was identified, it proved a bit
difficult for the researcher to point out all the symptoms to colleagues as these symptoms had
become normal for the business. On enquiry the researcher kept on getting the same answer,
“But we have been doing this for years and you’re also aware of this, so what has changed now?”
There was an initial sense of resentment from colleagues who felt that the AR was a means of
undermining their competencies and authority while at the same time propagating the
researcher’s position within the business. However, with more stakeholder engagements, the
attitude towards the LM AR started to change as most of the key stakeholders started to see the
logic behind the system and the need for change. Over and above, the AR was a good experience
for the researcher as it enhanced their interpersonal skills and boosted their confidence. The
ability to interact with many different people that they had never interacted with before boosted
their confidence and they got to learn more about the organisation.
Time was the biggest limitation of the AR. The researcher had to navigate through working
fulltime, conducting the AR and being a father and husband at home. Access to information was
another limitation, the researcher had to settle for open access journal as they did not have the
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funds to subscribe to databases. The researcher feels that they could have accessed more
valuable information from access-controlled journals, and this could have strengthened their
research and findings.
Selling the LM idea to Senior management went well, though there was an initial hesitation to
approach the operations manager regarding the system as the researcher was not sure how it
was going to be perceived. The reason why it was successful had to do with the lean and six sigma
certifications that the researcher possess coupled with the prior knowledge that the operations
manager had on the system. Data gathering through informal meetings went well especially with
the shop-floor workers who felt valued when their input was sought.
The researcher failed to convince all the line managers about the good intentions of the AR and
the benefits that it would bring to the business. The researcher took the incorrect approach in
handling the initial diagnostics of the symptoms of LM, they approached the shop-floor workers
first before they engaged their line managers, and this proved to be an ongoing issue throughout
the AR. The operations manager requested support from the line managers as they were keen
on LM however, they did it in a way considered to be coercive which is not desirable.
The first thing the researcher would do differently would be to engage line managers first before
shop floor workers as this proved to be one stumbling block the researcher encountered in the
AR. The process would have been smooth if the line managers had been introduced to the LM
system first, with detailed explanations as to how the system would benefit the business. Getting
their buy in at this stage would have resulted in the researcher gaining their trust and
commitment and allaying any suspicions of being undermined. The researcher would also
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communicate effectively and timeously with all the relevant stakeholders to avoid the wrong
information being passed through the grapevine as what happened in the AR, causing
unnecessary anxieties.
From the AR, the researcher learned the importance of time management, through scheduling
and setting goals. The researcher used the Gannt chart to set targets for the completion of the
AR. This will be valuable in their workplace as this will ensure that they schedule and prioritise
their day to day responsibilities more efficiently. They also learned about the importance of
knowing stakeholders together with their power and influences as this impact how an
organisation performs. They can take this knowledge and use it to assess staff members in their
own department so that the know the power and influence they wield. They also learned about
change management, which is very important, and they can use this in their department when
they intend to introduce new things. They learned the importance of effective communication as
this nearly derailed their AR. They will communicate effectively with staff in their department so
that the correct information is disseminated.
The AR presented an opportunity for the researcher to identify their developmental needs.
They did a SWOT analysis as indicated in table 17.
Strength
Weakness
 Analytical and strategic thinker
 Confident when dealing with a wide
variety of people
 Good decision-making skills
 Can take responsibility and handle
pressure
 Good problem-solving skills
 Highly motivated
 Weak communication skills
 Lacks creativity
 Poor time management
 Weak financial and economic literacy
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 Good planning and management skills
 Good at working with others
 Values ideas
Opportunity
Threats
 Put into practice what has been learned
in the MBA
 Promotion to higher positions
 Colleagues competing for the same
positions
Table 16: SWOT analysis
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From the SWOT analysis, they developed their own personal and professional development plan as shown in table 18.
Area needing development
Reason for development
Method of achieving objective
Review date
Weak communication skills
In order to communicate
effectively with the team and
give clear instructions.
 Make communication a priority.
 Learning to Listen
 Maintaining eye contact
 Respecting the audience
 Studying and understanding non-verbal communication
 Asking for honest feedback.
Early 2021
Lacking creativity
In order to be more creative
and bring out more ideas
 Finding inspiration from other industries
 Asking for advice or feedback
 Doing something outside the comfort zone
 Working under constraints
 Unplugging more
Early 2021
Poor time management
In order to manage time
more effectively
 Delegating tasks and not taking more tasks than desired
 Prioritizing work and avoiding multitasking
 Scheduling work and setting up deadlines
 Starting things early
Early 2021
Weak financial and
economic literacy
To understand business’
financial side
 Studying short finance and economics courses
 Putting into application the knowledge gained in the MBA financial
module
Early 2021
Table 17: personal and professional development plan
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The researcher intends to identify more areas of the business that require change and more
systems that can be implemented at [ANON] that can help the business improve its overall
performance and carry out more AR since they have gained valuable experience in carryout the
LM AR. They also intend to put into application what they have learned in the overall MBA study.
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Appendix 1: [ANON]’s lean manufacturing implementation plan
Phase
Action to be taken
Person/s
responsible
Time to be
allocated
Potential barriers
How to overcome barriers
Initiation
Team forming (mixture of lean
manufacturing experience and
manufacturing/business
experience)
Researcher
1 – 3 months
 Lack of trust
 Silo thinking
 Fear of change
 Lack of commitment
 Team building exercises
 Implementing change
management
 Incentives
Training the lean implementation
team on the concepts, the eight
wastes and tools of lean
manufacturing
Researcher
 Cultures diversity
 Language diversity
 Adapting training material to
suit the intended people
Doing feasibility studies of lean
implementation on the business
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of resources such as
time
 Lack of stakeholder
cooperation
 Doing studies on resource
requirements for the project
and providing adequate
resource
Analyzing the facility to
determine the gap between
current state and lean state
Lean
implementation
team
 Fear of change
 Silo thinking
 Lack of trust
 Team building exercises
 Implementing change
management
Planning
Defining the scope of lean
implementation
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of lean
implementation
knowledge
 Outsourced lean
manufacturing training
Defining goals, objectives and
milestones for lean
implementation
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of team
cooperation
 Lack of interest
 Team building exercises
 Implementing change
management
 Incentives
Define team roles and
responsibilities
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of team
cooperation
 Team building exercises
 Implementing change
management
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Identifying the eight waste of
lean within the facility
Lean
implementation
team
3 – 6 months
 Fear of change
 Silo thinking
 Lack of trust
 Team building exercises
 Implementing change
management
Identifying the tools needed to
eliminate the identified wastes of
lean
Lean
implementation
team
 Fear of change
 Silo thinking
 Lack of trust
 Team building exercises
 Implementing change
management
Setting targets for lean
implementation
Lean
implementation
team
 Fear of change
 Fear of failure
 Implementing change
management
Setting Key performance
indicators for lean
implementation
Lean
implementation
team
 Fear of job appraisals
 Fear of failure
 Implementing change
management
Developing communication and
feedback channels for all
stakeholders involved in the lean
implementation project
Lean
implementation
team
 Cultures diversity
 Language diversity
 Status differences
 Gender differences
 Adapting communication plans
to suit the intended people
Creating the lean implementation
project plan / Gantt chart
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of lean
implementation project
planning knowledge
 External training on project
management and how to
develop and use Gantt charts
Developing a risk management
plan in order to identify all
foreseeable risks such as changing
requirements, time, budget cuts,
and lack of committed resources.
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of project risk
assessment knowledge
 External training on risk
assessment
Meetings with the lean
manufacturing implementation
team and explaining the initiative
Lean
implementation
team
 Fear of change
 Silo thinking
 Lack of trust
 Implementing change
management
Execution
Training all employees on the
concepts, the eight wastes and
tools of lean manufacturing
Lean
implementation
team
 Cultures diversity
 Language diversity
 Lack of understanding
 Implementing change
management
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Assigning resources such as time,
money to the lean
implementation project
Lean
implementation
team
6 – 12
months
 Inadequate resources
 Resource requirements studies
Executing the lean
implementation project plans
(Implementing the tools of lean)
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of lean
implementation
knowledge
 External lean implementation
training
 Project planning and
implementation training
Researcher directs and manages
the lean implementation project
execution
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of team
cooperation
 Implementing change
management
The lean implementation team
sets up tracking systems for
execution of the project.
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of project execution
skills
 Lack of lean
implementation
knowledge
 External lean implementation
training
 Project planning and
implementation training
Tasks set in the lean
implementation project are
executed
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of lean
implementation
knowledge
 External lean implementation
training
 Project planning and
implementation training
Project plans modified and
updated if needed
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of resources
 Resource requirements studies
Project
Performance
/Monitoring
Measuring the lean
implementation project’s
objectives to check if the project
is on track, if specific targets and
task deliverables are being met
and if the project is within the
budget
Lean
implementation
team
 Lack of project
monitoring knowledge
 External lean implementation
training
 Project planning and
implementation training
Closure
Kaizen / Continuous
improvement– Continue
improving operations
All employees
Ongoing
 Lack of interest
 Implementing change
management
 Provide incentives for
continuous improvement
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Appendix 2: Project plan
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Appendix 3: Online ethics training
Appendix 4: Ethical application
I have formally applied for ethical approval to conduct secondary research and no formal response
was received from the committee.

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